In the heat of the moment and excitement of a lacrosse game, spectators can easily let their enthusiasm or disappointment overwhelm them. The sport is increasing in popularity and being offered at more schools, which means more fans in the stands. There is distinct etiquette and protocols for spectators of which most are unaware.
The action on a lacrosse field can be fast and furious, similar to football or hockey in which fans yell at referees and encourage players to make inappropriate physical contact with players on the other team. Such is not the case in lacrosse. Lacrosse has a long history as a “gentleman’s game” that emphasizes finesse rather than brute force. Spectator behavior should emulate that.
Family members and fans should know that behavior that’s considered unsportsmanlike can result in a penalty for a team. Taunting players and harassing officials isn’t condoned or allowed under any circumstances. Spectators are an important part of the game and fans are encouraged to support their favorite teams and players. There are four basic rules to which every spectator must adhere.
Behavior Toward Officials
Never yell at a referee. They’re highly trained professionals that are cognizant of the rules. From their position on the field, they have a much clearer and more accurate observation point for each play from which to make their call. Referees are only human, however, and occasionally they’ll make a mistake. Screaming at coaches and referees won’t change the call and will serve no good purpose.
Children are Watching
Youngsters learn by listening and watching adults. Spectators should model good behavior when they’re in the stands. Good sportsmanship is a life lesson and spectators should be an example of that to players.
Pass on Profanity
It’s natural to want to encourage and inspire a favorite team or player. However, profanity and other types of foul language should never be used. There are far more acceptable and positive words that can be used. Always keep in mind that lacrosse is a family sport.
As a family sport, political correctness should be observed at all times. That means no shaming or commenting on a person’s appearance, personal hygiene, or parentage. Likewise, statements on a player or official’s sexual orientation, race or religion have no place in the game of lacrosse.